Kendra’s eyes were barely open, as she reached for the pen and paper, always on her nightstand. She wrote it down this time, every detail she could recall.
There’s a man in my house. I can see him but he can’t see me. I feel scared of him. He’s loud and aggressive, yelling at a woman, he has just shoved to the floor. I try to go to her but I can’t move.
He hits her with the back of his hand. He kicks her in the ribs. He pulls off his belt and starts whipping her with it. She’s sobbing and yelling and begging him to stop. I’m screaming at him to stop hitting her but neither of them can hear me. He grabs the bottle of Jameson on the table and swings it towards her head.
That’s when she stands up.
She grabs his arm with both of her hands. He laughs at her and the sound seems to shoot fury through her body. Her eyes narrow and she is no longer crying.
She pushes him, hard. He falls into the pantry, his head shattering the glass door. He lunges at her. She grabs a frying pan hanging on the wall, and connects the bottom of the cast iron pan with his face. His front tooth falls out, as he collapses the ground.
She checks his pulse and calmly walks to the bedroom. She grabs something on the top shelf of the closet. I see her walk back to the kitchen and stand in front of him. She points a gun at the man lying unconscious on the floor. She says out loud, “No more, Charlie.” As soon as the gun goes off, I wake up.
Kendra can’t shake the darkness that seems to linger in this house. It feels heavy and sad, and always like there is a missing piece of history, trying to make it’s way to the surface. Not being from around here, the only person she could think of to talk to about this, was Joe Holland.
He’s one of the old timers and always tips her well, at the diner where she waits tables part-time. For some strange reason she had told him, and not even her best friend, that she was waiting tables to save money towards publishing a book she was writing.
Kendra held the phone, staring at it, debating whether or not to call him.
“Hi, Joe. It’s Kendra, aspiring author and your favorite waitress! Did you know I live just down the road from you, not sure if you knew that but, could I make you a cup of coffee and maybe run something by you?”
“Sure, Kendra, what’s going on?”
“You’re going to think I’m absolutely nuts so please, just come on down and we’ll talk when you get here.”
“Alright, sweetie. I’m on my way.”
Kendra could hear Joe pulling up, just as the coffee-maker began gurgling, a sound she anticipates in the morning. Carrying two steaming mugs, she met him on the front porch.
“Well thanks for the coffee Kendra, now tell me what’s going on.”
“Joe, I need your help. Can you tell me if anything bad ever happened on this property? I know this sounds crazy, but perhaps maybe a murder.”
“A what? A murder… No. Tammy’s old man went missing years ago and that is why she moved out. Before that, this house was occupied by three generations of the Carson family. I’ve been around for all three of them and can’t recall any other tragic events. No one in the family wanted the house after Chuck went missing. You’re the first one to live here since Tammy left. What’s got you so interested in this old farm house?”
“Joe, what did you say was Tammy’s husband’s name?”
“Chuck. But Tammy always called him Charlie.”
Kendra hands Joe what she wrote down this morning. She explains what it is and asks him to read it. He seems puzzled but agrees without question. He finishes reading and is quiet.
“Kendra, the people in your dream, unfortunately, seem very familiar to me. I was an old friend of Chucks but he had a mean streak like a son of a gun. It was hush, hush that he and Tammy had…problems. It wasn’t uncommon for Chuck to disappear on Tammy for days at a time. She always told people in town he was on business, but we all kind of knew he was on one of his binges. Chuck couldn’t stay away from booze or women. When Tammy reported him missing last year, several search and rescue missions were held but he never showed up. They called off all searches after two weeks. You say you dreamed up all this, Kendra?
“Yes, and I have had this dream repetitively, since I moved in here! And Joe, there’s more. Let me show you.”
Kendra led Joe to the corner of the property.
“I started preparing for a garden in the spring and found this peculiar stone, with the letters C. C. carved in to it, just under the ground. Lately, I don’t know why but I can’t get away from the idea that it is connected to the dream.”
“Well Kendra, I recognize that. Tammy asked me to help out with engraving the initials in the stone, to use as a grave marker for Chuck’s dog, Critter. He died shortly after Chuck went missing. Tammy appeared shook up by poor Critter leaving her so soon after Chuck. I remember she wanted to have herself a private little burial for that ol’ dog.”
“C.C. for Critter Carson? Joe, do you find it ironic that C.C. could also represent Charles Carson?”
“Well I suppose it could, but that’s just not the case.”
“Let me show you what else I’ve dug up in this same area.”
Kendra runs inside the house. She returns with two small objects in her hand. She shows Joe the bullet shell and tooth she found in the ground, a few feet away from the stone.
“How do you explain these? I don’t know what possessed me to hang on to them, but I did. Joe, I somehow know all of this is connected to my dream.”
“Kendra, what exactly are you implying?”
“I think Tammy killed her husband and buried him right where we are standing. I only see two ways to find out. Either we start digging or we pay Tammy a visit.”
“Kendra, I think I’ve come about as far as I’m going to go with you on this crazy ride. I’m an old man that doesn’t need to get involved in small town gossip. I wish you well on connecting the dots you have stumbled upon, but be careful. This all was laid to rest years ago and people won’t think too kindly of you digging up the past.”
“I understand. But Joe, can you just tell me one more thing, please? Where does Tammy live?”
Joe paused, before climbing back in to his old pick up. He could tell Kendra wasn’t going to walk away from this.
“241 Sacandaga Rd. She’s got a nice little house down there. Tell her Old Joe says hi, and Kendra, be gentle with all this.”
Did I leave you wanting to know more? Before I give you part two or this story tomorrow, let me fill you in on a little secret. The photos of the headstone, bullet and tooth are all items I truthfully found in my back yard. It’s what obviously sparked the idea for this story. I’ve forwarded the picture of the stone to our local historian and am waiting to hear back if she has any information about it. I’ll keep you posted. For now, come back tomorrow for part two 🙂 As always, feedback is welcomed and appreciated.